Amit Shah woos Bengal by video link, urges state to vote BJP to power

West Bengal will have a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister in just under a year, home minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday, taking the fight to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Addressing a virtual public rally in West Bengal, where assembly elections are due in May 2021, the former BJP chief urged voters to vote the party to power. “The time for political change in West Bengal has come and people should give the BJP a chance since they have already seen the work of Left parties, and Trinamool Congress. Once BJP is in power in West Bengal, there will be no corruption, dynasty rule will end, political violence and threat to people will end and illegal migration will also end.” The party set up at least 70,000 screens across West Bengal for people to tune in to the speech.

The BJP-led central government and Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government have been at loggerheads for the past two months of the nationwide lockdown, often over issues surrounding the corvid-19 outbreak.

The BJP accused the state government of concealing the true extent of the pandemic, including the number of people who have died. Party leaders also alleged that the state government was not implementing social distancing norms set by the Centre. The TMC in turn alleged that the central government was using the coronavirus pandemic to try and interfere in the affairs of West Bengal.

“If Mamata Banerjee indulges in corruption during the coronavirus pandemic and amphan cyclone, then people of West Bengal will never forgive her. It is the dream of BJP to make West Bengal Shonar Bangla.”

Shah said the TMC government was blocking financial help provided by the union government for farmers under the PM Kisan scheme by not giving the list of beneficiaries to the Centre. He claimed the Aayushman Bharat scheme, which provides health benefits to the poor, was also not being implemented in West Bengal. “Why is she not allowing people to get health benefits and farmers to get 6,000 under PM Kisan?” he added.

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